Remote Working from DB Computer Solutions
The 8 Basic Requirements – what you need to get working, remotely
Globally, more and more companies are turning to remote working as a method of shoring up business operations, while also ensuring the safety of their employees, throughout the Covid 19 crisis. And let’s face it, many companies have been forced to shutter due to government directives, which means remote working is also about compliance.
Over the course of the next few blogs, we’ll look at a variety of issues companies face when adopting remote working strategies: from basic requirements to how to mitigate new malware threats, to what you can do to increase productivity through collaboration, even when your staff must work from home.
If you have already implemented remote working as part of your business, you know what’s required. If you haven’t, this list might come in handy.
Remote Working – the basics
Remote Working is exactly what it says on the tin: technologies that allow your employees to keep working even though they no longer work at your office. To do so, it also implies that trusted staff are allowed access to your company’s IT systems, as well as critical applications and data.
But in providing such access, you must also guard against outside agents who would compromise those critical internal assets.
As Ann Johnson, Corporate VP, Cybersecurity Solutions Group at Microsoft wrote recently: “While employees in this new remote work situation will be thinking about how to stay in touch with colleagues and co-workers using chat applications, shared documents, and replacing planned meetings with conference calls, they may not be thinking about cyberattacks. CISOs and admins need to look urgently at new scenarios and new threat vectors as their organizations become a distributed organization overnight, with less time to make detailed plans or run pilots.”
Cybersecurity must therefore form the basis of any remote working solution.
Your now-remote employees may be using company-issued laptops, smart phones, and tablets. If so, you are likely to control the applications and security features on those pieces of hardware. But it is just as likely that your employees will be using their own personal devices to access your IT infrastructure, remotely.
For that reason, it makes common sense to assume that all of your employees are using personal devices over which you have little control, and will be using personally purchased Internet connectivity that runs into their homes which they access either over WiFi or via a hard connection.
In any case, here are the basics:
Routers – insist that anyone on your staff working remotely change the password on their home router. Very often, users have never changed the router password since it was installed. In that case, they are wide open to malware. Comparitech, the IT tech information website, offers great advice on how to Secure wireless routers and WiFi networks.
2. Protect All Devices (Laptops, Smart phones, and Tablets) – insist that all devices are protected by Anti-virus software. If staff don’t have it, buy it for them. Make certain that firewalls are present and activated. Remind all employees to consistently update software and associated patches as they become available from the OEM.
Use VPN for Access – Virtual Private Networks encrypt data, which means they are less susceptible to criminal activity. Some VPNs can have slower speeds. So do some research, or ask us for a recommendation, in order to ensure online productivity.
Deploy 2-Factor Authentication – if you haven’t done it already, DO IT NOW. Billions of personal passwords have been stolen across the world, including Ireland. 2F authentication offers higher levels of protection, even in the face of a password theft.
Implement Conditional Access to your IT applications – this software works to block access to your data by those who may pose as your remote working employees, but who are actually criminals. Software like MS Azure Conditional Access limits access only to authorized personnel.
Malware and Phishing are on the increase. Make sure your employees know it – crises, unfortunately, can also bring out the worst in people. Criminal activity is blooming as they attempt to gain access to vital data. Make sure your employees remember to DELETE – and never access – any inbound email, video, voicemail, or text that looks remotely suspicious.
Maximise Collaboration – use tools such as MS Teams and MS 365 to allow staff to keep in close touch, access collaborative materials, and maintain productivity during this crisis.
Backup Data – periodically, make sure that data held on all devices – including centralized storage as well as those devices employees use for remote working – is backed up ideally on 2 separate targets: perhaps a physical device in your office, as well as off-premise cloud.
We’re Here to Help Throughout the Crisis
For more information on remote working, and how it can help your business to keep the wheels spinning during the Covid 19 crisis, contact us:
firstname.lastname@example.org 061 480980